Delivering Business Value with SAP Central Finance

December 10, 2020 Kevin Gulley

There is a ton of buzz around SAP Central Finance as enterprises around the globe assess the centralized financial system as a way to quickly and effectively consolidate reporting and integrate various components of their financial functions across locations, divisions and business units.  Many companies are also looking at Central Finance (CFIN) as a value-delivering first step in a wider SAP S/4HANA migration, because not only is CFIN a significant upgrade to historic SAP offerings from a reporting and management perspective, it also is delivered with a unique and powerful deployment model.  Source systems, data and business processes, even those in businesses with complex infrastructures, are not disrupted when connected to Central Finance, allowing financial postings, reporting and select financial processes to be rapidly consolidated and replicated in one system.

 

Businesses pulling the trigger on the move to SAP Central Finance often cite consistent reasons for the move, including:

  • The ability to minimize disruption by keeping the existing transactional systems in place (SAP or Non-SAP)

  • Reporting is currently difficult and time consuming and the new centralized Group Reporting addresses this concern

  • Dramatically improved capabilities when compared to a traditional data warehouse solution.  Because CFIN is a full platform, these upsides are built into the structure of the solution and include real time results, harmonized data, the ability to drill down to individual transactions and more

  • The opportunity to streamline disparate and inconsistent processes over time

 

With powerful benefits available to many companies, a common question we are asked is “are there common attributes of businesses that make Central Finance a good choice?”.  We’re glad you asked.

 

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Dig Deeper: Successfully Implementing SAP Central Finance Whitepaper

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Five Scenarios that Suggest SAP Central Finance Makes Sense for Your Business

According to Glen Gagnon, a Principal Consultant and Central Finance Practice Lead at Syniti, over the course of many Central Finance implementations with leading organizations, we’ve identified several business attributes that indicate an enterprise will be a good candidate for a CFIN implementation:

 

You’re a Company with an Active M&A Strategy -  If your organization is growing inorganically through acquisitions, Central Finance allows you to incorporate critical data into the enterprise without executing on a full-blown lift and shift.

 

Your ERP Landscape is Complex - For businesses with multiple divisions in multiple locations, utilizing SAP and non-SAP source systems, SAP Central Finance can be a dream come true.  The solution can create a single source of truth while providing the flexibility to continue using existing source systems and business processes for day-to-day activities.
 

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Learn More:  Watch the Demo to find out how Syniti delivers better outcomes, faster while lowering your risk on an SAP Central Finance migration. 

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You Want a Non-Disruptive, First Step Towards S/4HANA - If your organization is committed to eventually migrating fully to SAP S/4HANA, but you’re not currently prepared to take on the full migration, CFIN makes a ton of sense.  The non-disruptive nature of the solution allows business users throughout the organization to operate without even knowing Central Finance has been deployed.  

 

Group Financial Reporting is a Must Have - The reporting capabilities in CFIN are a huge step forward.  Built on top of a ‘Universal Journal’, the solution brings all company data together in one place, significantly speeding up the reporting process.  Group Reporting is the newest tool embedded in SAP S/4HANA providing statutory as well as managerial financial consolidation capabilities for both On-Premise and Cloud customers so you can report across company codes for the entire enterprise, functionality that did not exist in earlier versions of SAP.

 

You’re Done With Inconsistent Processes - Central Finance provides businesses with the opportunity to standardize processes across units as their strategy dictates. By identifying low-hanging fruit that will pay dividends quickly, companies can leverage a ‘Shared Services’ model to eliminate redundancies, improve data consistency and drive business outcomes.

 

If you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios, the next question is how can I build the business case for Central Finance and what benefits can I expect.

 

Building a Business Case: The Benefits of Migrating to Central Finance by SAP 

When effectively deployed, Central Finance should position businesses to experience significant benefits, including: 

 

Trying Before Buying - With SAP Central Finance you are able to get a feel for many of the benefits of an S/4HANA deployment, but you aren’t committing to a full enterprise-wide S/4HANA implementation yet

 

Significantly Improved Reporting - Single source of truth from a data perspective as well as self-service analytics

 

Lower Costs - Central Finance allows business to minimize manual processes, reduce costs for different processing methods and redeploy labor to value added activities

 

Streamlined Financial Functions - The finance team will be positioned to identify significant process improvements, including reduced cycle times / transaction costs, optimized resource allocation, recognition of new cross-entity market potential and improved cash management, collections and receivables

 

Future Proofing Your Business - With CFIN your framework is in place for future efforts, whether that be continued S/4HANA migration projects or on-going shared-services centralization

 

Staying Nimble - Quickly adapt to changing business environments, new technologies, or additional acquisitions or divestitures

 

Regardless of the structure of your business or the particular benefits that make Central Finance appealing to your organization, there is still a data migration project to get through.  Working with an organization like Syniti lowers corporate risk and every enterprise, whether currently on SAP or not, can be up and running with S/4HANA Central Finance in as little as 3-6 months in a non-disruptive manner.  

 

Stay tuned to this blog for the next article in our Central Finance series when we detail four keys to delivering a successful Central Finance implementation project on-time, on-budget and on-expectation.

About the Author

Kevin Gulley

Kevin Gulley is the Global Head of Product Marketing at Syniti and has been blogging about the business benefits of cutting edge enterprise technology for closing in on 20 years.

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